Rick Springfield Gets Candid About Ongoing Depression Struggles

By David Konow 01/16/18

The "Jessie's Girl" singer discussed his lifelong battle with depression in a recent interview.

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield appeared to be on top of the world in the '80s with the hit single Jessie’s Girl, a featured role on the hit daytime soap opera General Hospital, and millions of adoring, screaming fans. But inside, the pop star was struggling with depression, an issue he's dealt with throughout his life.

People reports that last year, Springfield's ongoing struggle with depression led him to contemplate suicide.

“Last year I was close to it, really close to it,” Springfield said in an interview on the SiriusXM program Feedback. “When Robin Williams and Chester [Bennington] and those guys... I didn’t go, ‘Oh that’s terrible.’ I went, ‘I get it.’ I get being that lost and dark.”

Springfield said he first wrestled with depression when he was 17; he even had a nickname for it—Mr. D. During this time, Springfield attempted to commit suicide. The 68-year-old entertainer previously opened up about his depression and suicide attempt in his 2011 autobiography, Late, Late at Night.

But once he became a father, he decided, “Okay that takes suicide off the table, that’s not an option anymore, I don’t care how bad I feel.” Now that Springfield’s children are grown, he’s been feeling more vulnerable to his dark moods. He knows if he were to take his life it would “devastate” his kids. “I don’t know how I could ever come to terms with that. But it rides on my shoulder every day.”

To fight his depression, Springfield has taken meds like Prozac “and all that kind of stuff,” and he meditates as well. “Meditation is the only thing that takes me out of it,” he says. “If I truly meditate and focus and get to that place, I’m not depressed. No matter what’s going on. But it’s pretty hard.”

This isn’t the first time that Springfield has openly discussed thoughts of suicide and depression. He told Oprah in 2014, “To a degree, suicide still sits on my shoulder every now and then,” adding that when he tried it at 17, “[I] got a pretty strong signal that wasn’t the way to go.”

In addition to his struggles with depression, Springfield would also confess to Parade that he battled sex addiction during his career glory days.

“It becomes the thing that you use to make you feel good,” he said. “It’s a power thing. It’s like, 'If I have sex with this pretty girl that’s got to mean something—she is OK with having sex with me. So there must be something OK about me’—because you start so far down in your own self-esteem... I’ve had to fight that depression all of my life.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.